Zinc has amazing healing properties and forms part of more than 300 enzymes needed to repair wounds. Zinc helps maintain fertility in adults and growth in children. It also synthesizes protein, helps cells reproduce, preserves vision, boosts immunity and protects against free radicals, just to name some of the most important functions. Zinc ointment is often topically applied to heal skin abrasions and is also used to soothe a baby’s skin.

At an international conference in Stockholm held in June of 2000, researchers described experiments which indicate that zinc supplements enhance growth and weight gain and reduce the risk of diarrhea in children. Zinc also reduces the incidence of pneumonia and possibly malaria as well as the risk of complications in pregnancy.

While it’s great to know the many functions zinc performs, it’s alarming to realize that an estimated 48% of the globe’s population don’t get enough zinc. Zinc deficiencies are common in HIV patients. Even a small deficiency in this critical mineral can have a huge effect.

Older people are particularly vulnerable to a lack of zinc which may affect their eyesight as well as their memory. Zinc stimulates an enzyme critical in the retinal cells. Without zinc, the cells may become abnormal, resulting in macular degeneration – a common cause of blindness in elderly people.

As for memory, Dr. Harold Sandstead, a zinc expert at the university of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston found that otherwise healthy people, deprived of zinc did poorly on memory and concentration tests. The idea that finish is brain food may have an element of truth since it contains zinc – the brain booster!